United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations.
Secretaries' files: Iran mission, 1881-1968 (bulk: 1911-1965)
Finding Aid to Record Group 91
25.00 cu.ft.

Presbyterian Historical Society
425 Lombard St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147-1516

ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY

American missionary efforts in Persia commenced as early as 1829, when the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions sent the Reverends Eli Smith and Harrison Gray Otis Dwight to explore the regions of northwest Persia. Upon their recommendations, the American Board established a mission to the Nestorian Christians at Urumia. In 1834, the Reverend Justin Perkins, working under the auspices of the American Board, became the first missionary in Urumia, followed by Dr. and Mrs. Asahel Grant the next year.

In 1871, the PCUSA's Board of Foreign Missions assumed responsibility for the American Board's mission station at Urumia, thus formally commencing Presbyterian work in Persia. Within a decade, the Persia Mission had expanded to include new stations at Teheran (1872), Urumia (1873), Tabriz (1873) and Hamadan (1880). Due to the vast distances between the stations, the Persia Mission was divided in 1883. Urumia (renamed Rezaieh after 1925) and Tabriz were organized as the West Persia Mission, while Teheran and Hamadan constituted the East Persia Mission. The East Persia Mission was later to include the new stations of Resht and Kazvin (1906) (the latter being closed in 1918), Kermanshah (1910) and the sacred Persian city of Meshed (1911). The East and West Persia Missions were later reunited in 1931 and were known simply as the Persia, and after 1935, the Iran Mission.

From the outset, Presbyterian work in Persia was three-fold in nature: evangelical, medical and educational. Numerous local churches were organized and placed in the hands of native ministers within the central Evangelical Church of Iran. Medical work began as early as 1835 and was extended in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Formal hospitals were built in Kermanshah in 1882, in Teheran in 1890, and in Tabriz in 1913, followed by similar openings in Meshed, Hamadan, and Resht. Schools were established for the children of missionaries by the 1870s. In time, these grew into multi-national institutions such as the Alborz Foundation (Armaghan Institute), Iran Bethel (Damavand) College, the Community School of Teheran, the Mehr Jordan Schools, and later community outreach programs.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

Record Group 91 documents the Board of Foreign Missions' tripartite mission to the Iranian people against a background of political, economic and social upheaval. Reflected are the effects of world war, civil war and revolution both on the Iranian people at large and on the work of the Presbyterian Mission specifically. Reflected here are both the development and decline of institutions such as Alborz College. In many ways, the decline of mission institutions in the 1950s and especially the 1960s underscores both the success of the Mission in terms of advancing the educational and medical care of the Iranian people as well as the rising tide of Iranian nationalism - a dominant theme throughout this collection.

Although this collection dates from 1881 through the late 1960s, the bulk dates from 1911-1965. Researchers should consult RG 161, Secretaries' Files, Board of Foreign Missions, Iran Mission,
1956-1973, as this collection more completely documents the work of the Church during the last two active decades of the Mission's existence.

Record Group 91 is arranged as follows:

SERIES 1: EAST PERSIA MISSION, 1911-1930 Boxes 1-3

SERIES 2: WEST PERSIA MISSION, 1911-1930 Boxes 4-6

SERIES 3: PERSIA/IRAN MISSION, 1931-1968 Boxes 6-14

SERIES 4: MISSION SECRETARY, 1911-1965 Boxes 14-15

SERIES 5: ALBORZ COLLEGE, 1908-1966 Boxes 16-18

SERIES 6: MISCELLANEOUS CORRESPONDENCE,
1881-1937 Box 18

SERIES 7: STATION FILES, 1911-1968 Boxes 19-20

SERIES 8: MISCELLANY (Subject File), 1900-1966 Boxes 21-25

NOTES TO THE RESEARCHER

Researchers should consult RG 161 and the library's holdings for complementary materials.

Included within the bound annual mission minutes are personal, committee, institutional and the annual mission reports. Prior to 1931, these reports were arranged separately. Included within the station reports are committee and other reports that reflect the activities of the individual station, i.e., medical and educational work.

Series 4 is presumably the papers of the various Mission Secretaries. Much of what is contained therein is probably duplicated elsewhere in the collection.

Researchers should be aware that this collection lacked any discernable order prior to its processing. Therefore, the "original filing scheme" was altered and the materials arranged in such a matter as to enhance their accessibility.


Collection inventoried and preliminary finding aid prepared: 1972
Grace Mullen, Assistant Records Researcher

Collection processed and finding aid prepared: 1983
Frederick J. Heuser, Jr, Archivist

Box	Folder	Description
1	1	Finding Aid to Record Group 91
		
		SERIES I: EAST PERSIA MISSION, 1911-1930

		Subseries 1: Annual Mission Minutes, 1911-1930

1	2	1911-12
	3	1911-21
	4	1922-27
	5	1928-30

		Subseries 2:  Personal Reports, 1911-1930

1	6	1911-15
	7	1916-22
	8	1923-24
	9	1925-26
	10	1927-28
	11	1929-30

		Subseries 3: Station Reports, 1910-1930

1	12	1910-12
	13	1913
	14	1914-15
	15	1916-17
	16	1918-19
	17	1920
	18	1921-22
	19	1923-24
	20	1925-26
	21	1927-28
	22	1929-30
	
		Subseries 4: Institutional Reports, 1910-1930

2	1	1910-12
	2	1914-19
	3	1920-24
	4	1925-26
	5	1927-30

 

		Subseries 5:  Statistical Reports, 1911-1930

2	6	1911-16
	7	1917-24
	8	1925-30

		Subseries 6:  Board Letters To Persia Mission, 1911-1930

2	9	1911-27
	10	1929-30

		Subseries 7: Missionary Correspondence, 1926-1930

2	11	1926
   	12-13	1927
   	14-15	1928
   	16-18	1929
	19	1930

3   	1-2	1930

		Subseries 8: Executive Committee Correspondence, 918-1930

3	3	1918-28
	4	1929-30

		Subseries 9: Miscellaneous/Calendared Correspondence, 1911-1930

3	5	Non-missionaries, 1926-30
	6	Property, 1926-30
	7	Cables, 1925-30
	8	Calendared correspondence, 1911
	9						  1912
	10						  1913
	11						  1914
	12						  1915
	13						  1916
	14						  1917
	15						  1918
	16						  1919
	17						  1920
	18						  1921
	19						  1922
	20						  1923
	21						  1924
	22						  1925
	
		SERIES 2: WEST PERSIA MISSION, 1911-1930

		Subseries 1: Annual Mission Minutes, 1911-1930

4	1	1911-20
	2	1911-30
	3	1921-25
	4	1926-28
	5	1929-30
	
		Subseries 2: Personal Reports, 1911-1930

4	6	1911-16
	7	1917-24
	8	1925-27
	9	1928-30

		Subseries 3: Station Reports, 1911-1930

4	10	1911-15
	11	1916-24
	12	1925-27
	13	1928-30

		Subseries 4: Institutional Reports, 1911-1930

4	14	1911-24
	15	1925-30

		Subseries 5: Statistical Reports, 1911-1930

4	16	1911-24
	17	1925-30

		Subseries 6: Board Letters To Persia Mission, 1913-1927

5	1	1913; 1923-24
	2	1925-26
	3	1927

		Subseries 7: Missionary Correspondence, 1926-1930

5	4	1926
	5	1927
	6	1928
	7	1929

5	8	1930
	
		Subseries 8: Executive Committee Correspondence, 1926-1930

5	9	1926-28
	10	1929-30
	
		Subseries 9: Miscellaneous/Calendared Correspondence, 1911-1930

5	11	Non-missionaries, 1926-30
	12	General, 1926-30
	13	Cables, 1926-30
	14	Calendared Correspondence, 1911
	15						1912
	16						1913
	17						1914
	18						1915
	19						1916	
	20						1917
	21						1918

6	1						1919
	2						1920
	3						1921
	4						1922
	5						1923
	6						1924
	7						1925

		SERIES 3: PERSIA/IRAN MISSION, 1931-1968

		Subseries 1: Annual Mission Minutes, 1931-1957

6	8	 1931-34
	9	 1935-39
	10	 1935-51
	11	 1940-45
	12	 1946-51
	13	 1953-54
	14	 1955
	15	 1957

		Subseries 2:  Executive Committee Minutes, 1936-1955

6	16	 1936


6	17	 1937
	18	 1938
	19	 1939; 1941
	20	 1942-58
	21	 1944-55

		Subseries 3: Personal Reports, 1931-1966

7	1	1931-32
	2	1933-34
	3	1934-36
	4	1937-38
	5	1939-41
	6	1942-43
	7	1944
	8	1945-46
	9	1947
	10	1948
	11	1949
	12	1950
	13	1951-52
	14	1953-55
	15	1959
	16	1960
	17	1960
	18	1961
	19	1962
	20	1963
	21	1964-65
	22	1966

		Subseries 4: Mission/Station Reports, 1931-1968

7	23	1931-32
	24	1933-34
	25	1935-38

8	1	1939-41
	2	1942-43
	3	1943-46
	4	1947
	5	1948
	6	1949
	7	1950
	8	1951-52
	9	1953-55

8	10	1956
	11	1956-59
	12	1957
	13	1958
	14	1959
	15	1961
	16	1962
	17	1963
	18	1964-65
	19	1966-68

		Subseries 5: Statistical Reports, 1931-1965

9	1	1931-33
	2	1942-44
	3	1945-50
	4	1949-65

		Subseries 6: Board Letters To Persia (Iran) Mission, 1931-1953

9	5	1931-32
	6	1934
	7	1935-36
	8	1937-44
	9	1945-46
	10	1947-52
	11	1953
		
		Subseries 7: Cables, 1931-1957

9	12	1931-1940
	13	1948-1957

		Subseries 8: Missionary Correspondence, 1931-1965

10	1-17	1931-36

11	1-19	1936-50

12	1-17	1951-65

		Subseries 9: Executive Committee Correspondence, 1931-1955
	
13	1-17	1931-1950

14	1-7	1951-1955

		SERIES 4: MISSION SECRETARY, 1911-1965

14	8	1911-23
	9	1911-57
	10	1913-61
	11	1916-49
	12	1916-57
	13	1918-26
	14	1921-36
	15	1925-31
	16	1926-30
	17	1930-32

15	1	1930-32
	2	1932-40
	3	1933-38
	4	1933-46
	5	1938-43
	6	1943-69
	7	1944-53
	8	1948-54
    	9-10	1954-65

		SERIES V: ALBORZ COLLEGE, 1908-1966

16	1	Minutes, Board of Trustees, 1927-51
	2	Minutes, Council, 1928-39
	3	Minutes, Board of Managers, 1929-50
	4	Calendared correspondence, 1913-30
    	5-19	Correspondence, general, 1926-50

17	1	Alborz Foundation, 1950-52
	2	Bok, Cary W., 1929-37
	3	Board of Regents, 1929-41
	4	Board of Regents, 1927-50
	5	Council correspondence, 1932-38
	6	College and Westminster Foundations, 1936
	7	Dissolution documents, 1930?-49
	8	Foundation, 1948-49
	9	Foundation, 1953-55
	10	General material, 1908-45
	11	General material, 1946-50
	12	Hulac, Charles, 1947-49
   	13-17	Miscellaneous items, 1930?-39?
	18	Near East Foundation, 1930-31
	19	Near East College Association, 1929-31

17	20	Pledge Lists, 1930-39
	21	Property, 1929-39
	22	Publicity, 1930-36
	23	Rockefeller Foundation, 1927-29
	24	Ward, S.L., 1931-32
	25	Short-termers, 1931-32
	26	Rollestone Hall, 1922-50

 18	1	Rollestone Hall, 1950-51
	2	Transcripts of records, 1932
	3	Travel letters, 1931-34
	4	Report, Post, 1934
	5	Financial, 1927-39
	6	Treasurer's, 1927-37
	7	Miscellaneous, 1927-39
	8	General, 1936-1937: 1939-40
	9	Budgets, 1932-39
	10	Records, financial, 1931-33

		SERIES VI: MISCELLANEOUS CORRESPONDENCE, 1881-1937

18	11	Boyce, Annie W., 1906-31
	12	Boyce, Annie & Arthur, 1926-37
	13	Cochran, J.D. et. al, 1881-1910
	14	Labaree, Mary, 1914-15
   	15-19	Speer, Robert E., 1901-28
	20	Miscellaneous reports/journals, 1901-26
	21	Miscellaneous station letters, 1918-25
	22	Miscellaneous reports, 1960s?-70s?

		SERIES VII: STATION FILES, 1911-1968

		Subseries 1: Station Minutes, 1911-1962

19	1	Kermanshah, 1911-40 (incomplete)
	2	Meshed, 1911-27
	3		   1927-51
	4		   1951-58
	5		   1958-65
	6	Resht, 1912-25
	7	           1925-37
	8	           1937-62

		Subseries 2: Station Reports, 1911-1962

19	9	Resht, medical, 1918-44

19	10	Teheran, 1911-32
	11        medical work, 1922-52
	12	Reports, itineration, 1919-62
	13	Work for Women, 1916-34
	14	Miscellaneous, 1915-55
	15	Church and evangelistic, 1919-49
	16	Education, 1924-62
	17	Medical committee, 1938-41

		Subseries 3: Station Letters, 1923-1935

19	18	Teheran, 1923-25
	19	Miscellaneous, 1921-26
	20				1927-28
	21				1929
	22				1928-30, 1932
	23	Urumia, 1930-32
	24		   1933-35

		Subseries 4: Institutional Correspondence, 1887-1968

19	25	Hamadan School, 1887-1939
	26		   Faith Hubbard School, 1917-44
	27		   Hospital, 1927-56
	28	Kermanshah Orphanage, 1919-26
	29		        Newsletters, 1944-48
	30			 Hospital, 1927-47

20	1	Meshed Hospital, 1925-48
	2		    School, 1928-33
	3	Resht Boys School, 1931-35
	4	          Girls School, 1931-39
	5	Resht, Good Shepherd Clinic, 1956-64
	6	Rezaieh Parish, 1962-64
	7          Hospital, 1926-31
	8	Resht Hospital, 1931-57
	9	Tabriz Hospital, 1911-30
	10	Girls Schools, 1924-38
	11	Teheran American Hospital, 1928-47
	12        Bethel Iran Nurbakhash School, 1888-1940; 1964
	13       Clinic of Hope, 1952-68
	14        Sage College, 1919-35
	15	Community School, 1932-53
	16	Sage College, 1936-42
	17	Urumia, Fiske Seminary, n.d.
	18	Miscellaneous station correspondence, 1947-49
	
		SERIES VIII: MISCELLANY (SUBJECT FILE), 1900-1966

21	1a	Afghanistan, 1924-42
	1	Arabia Mission Minutes, 1955-62
	2				     1962-66

22  	1-3	Assyrian Relief, 1916-48
    	4-10	 Resettlement, 1919-25
	11	Baptist work, 1897-31
	12	Browning, G. Lynn, The Indigenous Church, n.d.
	13	Centennial Correspondence, 1931-36
	14	Church Union, 1938-42
	14a	Daniels, Marcus G., 1918-46, n.d.
	15	David, Jacob, 1910-21
	16	Deputation Reports, 1939
   	17-19	Educational crisis, 1939-47
	20	Esseltyn, F, correspondence, 1914-18
	21	Estimates/appropriations, 1938-55
	22	Evangelical Church of Iran, 1927-47
	23	Five Year Plan, 1947-51

23  	1-3	General correspondence, 1931-54
	4	Geotapa Church, 1915-17
	5	German Orient Mission, 1923-24
	6	Historical materials on Iran Mission, 1897; 1925; 1949
	7	Immigration, 1921-24
	8-9	Institutional correspondence, 1948-55
	10	Intermission Literature Committee, 1913-47
	11	Iranian Churches, 1948-55
	12		   Legation, 1921-44
	13	Labaree, Robert M., 1917-35
	14	Lutheran work in Persia, 1916-31
	15	Mission Medical Committee, 1946-49
	16				            1950-58
	17	Miscellaneous items, 1900-62?
	18	Miscellaneous photographs, n.d.
	19	Near East Vorex, 1935?
	20	Nejaf, 1930-31
	21	Non-missionaries, correspondence with, 1931-40
	22	Personnel list, 1962-71
	23	Persian Language, 1894; 1925

 24 	1-8		   Nationals, correspondence, 1911-45
    	9-10		   Relief Committee, 1915-16
	11		   Society, 1924-25



24	12	Property, 1931-54
	13	Register of baptisms/marriages performed by American mission in Teheran, 1904-39
   	14-15	Relief, war news, 1915
	16		                1916

25	1         war news, 1916
	2		    1918
	3		    1919
    	4-5	Religious Freedom in Schools, 1924-35
	7	Sargis, Y.A., 1916-18
	8	Shah of Iran, 1949
	9	Standing Rules of Iran Mission, 1930; 1938; ca.1950-57
	10	Trull, George, travel letters, 1929
	11	War losses, 1919-23
	12	                   1922-33
	13	Yosip, Kasha David, 1916-23